Thursday, May 2, 2019

SimplyNature Kids Apple Sweet Potato and Blueberry Squeezable Pouch

A delicious product for kids and parents alike!
For some reason, I've been drawn more and more to kids products lately (it's either because we have one, or because I've always been predisposed to think like a child). Now, it's gotten to the point where I get excited seeing a new kind yogurt tube, or kids juice in the weekly Aldi ad. This “kid fever” has also spread to my wife, as we both tend to try all of the various juices and snacks that we give our son. It's a good way to know specifically what kind of flavors he likes, but mainly I just like stealing his stuff because most of it is sweet and delicious and tastes like innocence.

Enough about our oddities: we have a review to focus on. And today it's SimplyNature Kids' Apple, Sweet Potato, and Blueberry Squeezie, a kind of pulp-like smoothie that is marketed toward kids, but would also be a great option for older babies. It has almost the exact same consistency as applesauce, and each 3.2 oz. pouch contains a good amount of fruits and veggies inside. Best of all are the ingredients: apple, sweet potato, and blueberry purees are at the top (and all of those are organic), with the only other ingredients apple and lemon juices from concentrate, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) “to maintain color”. Just like their ever-growing line of organic pouches, those are the only ingredients, making it a pretty healthy concoction to give to youngsters.

I figured that, like a lot of the spate of beverages that have started to combine fruit and vegetable juices, the focus would be on the apple, with the sweet potato and blueberry playing backup, or maybe even barely-noticeable supporting roles. This isn't the case: the apple is the top flavor, but the sweet potato is also distinctly noticeable. I hate sweet potatoes (probably the only vegetable I go out of my way to avoid eating), so I was kind of hoping for the reduced role, but I have to say that it pairs up very well with the apple. Also thanks to the potato, it provides a good counter-punch to the sweetness of the apple and blueberry purees, adding an intriguing flavor that at once feels out of place, yet entirely welcome. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but by the second pouch, I was all-in.

These, like a lot of organic products, are a little pricey, but they come in at under $3 for four pouches, so I didn't think it was all that bad. Granted, each pouch is only 3.2 oz., but I think it's a good amount for a small child's snack, or just a quick snack for a bigger child. I'm a known penny-pincher, but I have no qualms about spending this kind of money on something like this: It's got a totally different vibe and taste from the typical fruit juices, so it's perfect for those looking for something a little left-of-center, and the ingredients consist of nothing but the titular purees and some fruit juice (and a little vitamin C).

The flavor does get a little old the farther in you go, so there's no way I could get these very often, but considering they're special buys and not constantly available, that's not really a problem. In what is perhaps the biggest drawback, and the most baffling: the individual pouches do not have any flavor info on them. Each pouch just says “made the way nature intended” (SimplyNature's tagline), features the logo and a couple other things, and that's it. Granted, there are only two flavors of this product made that I know of (the other one being apple, spinach, and pear), so at worst you have a 50-50 shot of getting the right one, but if you take a bunch out on a trip, or put them out for a children's party, there's not much of a way to tell what's in them. Even if the other kind has a different-colored cap (which I would expect to be the case), there would still be some guessing and checking involved to see which variety you have. It's kind of weird to me that they didn't add the flavor variety anywhere on the pouch. (Or maybe we just got a mislabled batch.)

Other than those minor problems, though, this is an excellent snack for a reasonable price, given its organic origins. And don't let the kids-style packaging fool you...this is great for adults, too!

Overall: 8/10. This is a tasty little treat, that's like a juice and snack all in one! It has the consistency of applesauce, all in a squeezable pouch. I was expecting the apple and blueberry flavors to be the focal points, with sweetness being the name of the game, but the sweet potato is pretty much on par with the apple flavor, providing a unique contrast between sweet, by adding something a little savory. The blueberry is basically relegated to backup duty...I didn't really notice any distinct blueberry flavor, but it's no doubt part of the sweetness. I wasn't sure after the first couple sips what I thought of this, but I was all-in by the second, and would gladly get these again. Only six ingredients, and all organic purees are extra pluses, with a price under $3 add to the value. Ignore that this was marketed to kids...these are great snacks for on-the-go parents, or even childless adults, too!

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